GAME TIME 9:00pm
GAME TEMP 61˚
Monday Night Football…wow…what a pain. We here in The Last Row love the fact that Eagles will be in three Monday Night games, really. We also are very happy that only one game is at home. Monday Night games are rough. Whether you have a couple of beers before the game or not, you are going to pay for a Monday Night game the next day – especially if you live on the East Coast. Your intrepid (insipid?) reporters both took the day of the game and the day after off. The game will end around 12:30 on Tuesday morning, with traffic and distance – we’re talking about getting home at 2 AM at the earliest.
Don’t get us wrong, the Eagles being in so many prime time games is great, it’s a barometer of success. The atmosphere is so electric for these games, too. If it’s early in the season, or late in the season and your team is in contention, nothing beats Monday Night Football. The anticipation, sports talk radio all week talking about the game, restaurant’s profits shooting up when the Madden Cruiser stops by (Turducken anyone?)…Ah Monday Night Football. Are you ready for some football? Yes, Mr. Williams Jr., yes we are.
The tailgate was smaller than last week; some people we tailgate with wussed out and sold their tickets. They made some money, sure, but come on – this is one of the biggest marquee matchups this season, you have to be here. Some people also couldn’t get the day off or get out of work early; those people have their priorities mixed up. Anyway, Natty Lite was back in attendance and we had some hot dogs and hamburgers. Craney also brought those good wings…this time, with a barbeque twist.
The First Five songs at the tailgate:
Hero of the Day – Metallica
I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman (Yeah – it’s an 80s song, but it’s good. Some dude at the tailgate was complaining about this song, but tough – a good song is a good song)
Paradise City – Guns N Roses
Mona Lisa – Me First and the Gimmee Gimmees
Fuel – Metallica
One thing about any Eagles game is the helicopters hovering over you as you tailgate. These copters are from the local news, and apparently the news loves showing shots of people standing behind their cars eating and drinking. During tailgating time, there could be two or three helicopters overhead. If you close your eyes, listen to the helicopters overhead and think of Henry Hill’s downfall from ‘Goodfellas’…you’ll have Ray Liotta’s monologue from that scene running through your head continuously.
Well, we headed over to the stadium about 45 minutes prior to kickoff, awash in a sea of humanity. (An appropriate metaphor when you consider some of the drunken jetsam and flotsam you have to wade through to even get to the long lines leading into the stadium.) We were thoroughly searched by the security personal upon entering the stadium, if you consider someone patting Walls’ shoulders and someone patting the pork-chop sandwiches in Dolfi’s coat pocket a “thorough search”. And the long trek to our seats began…
Now, I know we described just how difficult a climb it is to our seats for two gentlemen of leisure last column. But let us expand upon that thought this week. It is a LONG climb. Aerobics instructors would find it a difficult climb. Olympic athletes would find it a test of strength and endurance. In fact, we actually passed a winded Sir Edmund Hillary on the way up. But we digress…
Have you ever had that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you just *know* something bad is going to happen? Well, we never felt that in this game. Not once. Not when the Vikings drove the ball straight down the field on their first possession. Not when Moss finally managed to find the end zone. Not when Culpepper had gaping holes to run through. It was a game that, to the fans in the stadium, was never in doubt.
McNabb and Owens still look great together, but we give a nod to Culpepper and Moss. They both looked pretty damn good. Culpepper more so than Moss – Culpepper made some great throws, had some great runs, and generally makes great on-field decisions. Maybe Moss was distracted by the “Raaaaaaaaandeeeeeee” chants from the crowd, or maybe he just decided to “take a few plays off” more than usual, but he wasn’t terribly effective, save his TD catch was wasn’t very tough as a 4 yard timing pattern. Great athletic ability on Moss who out-jumped the Eagles corners more than once, but not a lot of team play or effort on his part, in our opinion.
Owens made some great grabs, was given credit for another that upon review probably would have been overturned, but Vikes Coach Mike Tice isn’t known for his shrewd use of the red flag. McNabb looked great again. Man, that dude is mobile. On his TD run play, the pocket half collapsed, sending McNabb rolling to his right, he ducked under not one, but two sack attempts, spun away from another tackle, and was off to the races. It’s that kind of Houdini escape trick that makes McNabb one of the NFL’s best right now.
The Eagles defense looked better this week than in the 4 preseason games and the opening weekend. In fact, they generated the first consistent pass rush they had in two seasons. The young corners Sheppard and Brown are coming along nicely, and the 2 safeties, Dawkins and Lewis, are probably the best Safety duo in the NFL right now.
The game wasn’t the offensive shoot-out, lack of defense fest that the media conjured up – but we got to see a great match-up between two dangerous offenses on a pleasant night under the twinkling lights of the Philadelphia skyline. What else could we have asked for?
Oh, one last thing to talk about during this Eagles game – Skull Guy.
If you watch an Eagles game, you may hear the Eagles cheer “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!” we’ll talk more about this cheer and the logistics of how these cheers happen and are orchestrated, but for this week’s column, you need to know these following things:
1) Each cheer is orchestrated by a guy (character) who stands in the front of each section and leads the cheer.
2) These cheerleaders usually dress up in some kind of crazy garb – some people put more work into this than others.
3) Sections often ‘compete’ against each other to see who can be louder. Obviously the more people you have cheering with you, the louder you are. So, if you are a cheerleader guy, getting the most out of your section or the sections adjoining yours is key.
We have had the same cheerleader guy ever since we have been attending these games – we call him Pukin’ Harmon, Dancing Homer, Henry the Red (named after a character from ‘Army of Darkness’), The Last Row likes our cheerleader guy. We’ll also discuss him more in depth later in the season. We will also discuss the arch-enemy of The Last Row, a man we call Short Bus, who stole some of Pukin’ Harmon’s real estate the last year at the Vet (RIP).
Anyway, Short Bus is not near us anymore, close enough for us to see; but not as big a pain as he was the last year at the Vet. Just know that we hate him because he took some of Henry the Red’s real estate, and voices.
Well, this guy who site in our section decides he’s gonna stand up next to Henry the Red and start leading cheers alongside him. This character wears a Dawkins jersey and a skull mask. Skull Guy. This is something that needs to be nipped in the bud. This move of what we call ‘Cooperative Cheering’ was Short Bus’ first move to steal real estate. Very sneaky, very passive aggressive. Skull Guy needs to be stopped. Hopefully he never shows up again. Hopefully this is the only game he will be at, because booing him and telling him to sit down and shut up takes attention away from the game. But our pleas of “Sit down Skull guy!!” and “Shut up Skull Guy!!” fell on deaf ears. Maybe Skull Guy is a nice person; maybe he thinks he’s helping. He is not helping, nothing personal Skull Guy, but sit down and shut up.
Cheers!!! – Chris Dolfi of The Last Row moved into a new place this past Saturday. This isn’t important to you, the general public, except for this… a moving van is the basis for one of the Last Row’s favorite cheers. You see, two years back, a friend of the Last Row’s, Bob, moved and rented a U-Haul. The larger U-Haul vans have a cove up above the cab called a ‘Mom’s Attic’. Anything that wasn’t fragile or anything that didn’t look particularly valuable got thrown into the Mom’s Attic. “Mom’s Attic that s***!!” we would yell as we threw Bob’s possessions into the Mom’s Attic.
The next day, there was an Eagles home game. Any time there was a good defensive play, or we wanted a good defensive play, we would yell, “MOM’S ATTIC THAT S***!!”…Oh man, what an awesome cheer. That’s a cheer that stuck with the Last Row for years. We were yelling it again Monday Night especially when it looked like a passing down for the Vikes.
The same year that we came up with the Mom’s Attic cheer, we asked a particularly inebriated friend of ours…we’ll call him Mike P. to yell, “Mom’s Attic Short Bus (see above)!!” He misheard us and yelled, “Mom’s Attic George Bush!!” Now, no matter what your political stand, that’s funny. You can yell about anything Mom’s Attic it…trust us, you’ll feel better.
Yes, Mom’s Attic is now officially a verb also.
Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love, B****!!! Award – This week the award goes to Duante Culpepper. He had a relatively good game, with a lot of yards passing. Unfortunately, Mr. Culpepper coughed up the ball twice, once on the Eagles goal line. All those yards mean nothing if you can’t get the ball in the end zone. Those yards mean even less if you get no points at all.
Final Thoughts from the Last Row
· Sarah Jessica Parker…We here in the Last Row just don’t get it. Sorry, we just don’t.
· Jeff Lurie is a squatter. No, check that, he’s a tenant. Daniel Snyder is a tenant, Jerry Jones is a tenant. Anyone who owns a professional sports franchise is a tenant. Sports franchises are owned by a person or group or corporation…but the teams truly belong to the people of the area that that team ‘represents’…any team with a history and a fan base is owned by the people, anyway.
Owners come and go, some last longer than others, some are better than others. But owners give up ownership of the team, sooner or later. But the fans…faces may change in the seats, but the team belongs to the city. An owner is really a steward for the team. They usher the team through the years, and hopefully (for their sakes) make some money off of the team. They have total control over the destiny of the team while they own the team, but the team belongs to the people.
Sometimes, owners of a team sever the relationship with a city. Sometimes, this move is warranted, because there just isn’t a big enough market to support the team. Sometimes that move is not warranted in any way, and is motivated only by a sickening greed of an owner…ask a Cleveland Browns fan, they’ll tell you how it is. Sell the team before you move the team. The team doesn’t belong to you it belongs to the people.
Al Davis? Who knows what he thinks…the team may actually belong to him. Maybe a Raiders fan can explain this man’s actions (or his outfits), and the relationship with Oakland/LA.
Quite often, owners aren’t from the city the team they own are based. Quite often, they weren’t fans of that team before the investment opportunity presented itself. It seems that quite often owners don’t care if the team wins or not, as long as the balance sheet is in the black. This is how it looks to us when we look at the Phillies season this year, the cash rolled in with the new stadium, but when the team showed serious flaws early this year, nothing was done. Mainly due to the owners (a mysterious oligarchy of Stonecutters, we think (the ownership of the Phillies is a guarded group of blue bloods)) having a guaranteed profit before the season even started with the addition of a new stadium and the revenue it generated. The Phillies started leaking before the lead to the Braves vanished, well before that. Nothing was done to keep the Phils competitive – a couple of joke deals at the deadline, that’s it. The owners of the Phillies just don’t seem to care how the team does…but then again, the team doesn’t belong to them.
· Why would the Linc have ONE single solitary guy pouring beer for a line of 50 people, while two girls work (or rather, stand around and chat) at the “Eagles pink hat” stand? Criminal. Let’s press those young ladies into service and get them to actually *earn* their money next game!
· Tom of the Last Row was playing in his (and Dolf’s) main league, the MonkeyLeague, against a guy who had McNabb and Westbrook starting for him. This is a special kind of Hell. It’s bad enough to be at home watching players from your favorite team rack up points for your fantasy opponent, but to be in the stadium where those players are racking up the points against you? Torture.
If you are reading this article, you love playing fantasy football, our article is on a fantastic fantasy football site. Fantasy football is a fun hobby, a great way to spend free time…this is the Eagles, though. Fantasy football is for the head. The Eagles (or the team you root for)…that’s for the heart. So Tom rooted whole-heartedly for McNabb and Westbrook, even though he knew that they could be leading to a loss for him in the MonkeyLeague…but he was hoping for a lot of Thomas Tapeh dives into the end zone.
(Editor’s note: Thomas Tapeh didn’t even play in the Monday Night Football game – encouraging accusations of fantasy football tampering from the Walls camp.)
· Did you see the pictures of Mr. And Mrs. Heckler from baseball-land? Ummm – she is considerably larger than he is. We’ll leave it at that.
The Last Row’s Top Six:
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
* Yardwork is a little known also-ran for the Four Horseman. Initially shown in many 14th century woodcuttings (often in the back), Yardwork never quite made it into the main Four Horseman ‘clique’. Albrecht Durer, who popularized the images of The Four Horsemen, really ended any chance of Yardwork beating out Pestilence for the fourth spot in the ‘Famine Four’ as they were sometimes called. Durer simply began leaving Yardwork out of any works of art he produced.
Albrecht Durer himself once wrote, “Yardwork truly is a pain. I have 3 kings-feet of fine shrubbery myself, a true pain in my hindquarters. But a sign of the end of the world? A sign of our Lord’s return? I think not…”
Yardwork had a brief renaissance as a part of the Five Charioteers of Annoyance (Taxes, Brain Freeze, Flatulence and Writer’s Cramp were also members). But Yardwork always carried a chip on his shoulder about the exclusion from the Four Horsemen.
Yardwork will always be number four in The Last Rows’ hearts, though. If you listen to the Metallica epic ‘The Four Horsemen’, try adding your own lyrics using Yardwork.
P.S. – If you want to freak yourself out, type ‘the four horsemen’ into a search engine, then click on some of the links. Creepy!!!
P.P.S – If you want to freak yourself out even more – type in ‘Keanu Reeves’.